Illinois Mental Health Counselors


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Annual Conference Saturday - 6 CEs Member Special Various Presenters

  • August 29, 2020
  • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • DoubleTree Hilton Skokie, 9599 Skokie Blvd, Skokie, IL 60077


  • Attend all three days of the IMHCA Annual Conference at a discounted rate for members!
  • Attend all three days of the IMHCA Annual Conference at a discounted rate for members!

IMHCA Annual Conference - Saturday
Saturday - August 29, 2020
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
6 CEs


DoubleTree Skokie. Mention you are attending the Illinois Mental Health Counselors Annual Conference and receive a special room rate of $109.00 (Standard King or Double Room). Special room rates are available until March 5, 2020. Call 800-222-8733 to make reservations.

3 Choices

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Empowering the African American Client:  Demystifying Mental Health
Angela D Jackson, Ph.D., LCPC, NCC

Bio: Angela Jackson is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor experienced working with diverse youth, adults, couples, and families. A graduate of Virginia Tech, she has a Ph.D. in Counselor Education with a concentration in Race & Social Policy. She focuses on building rapport with clients from their cultural context and clarifying the basis for their presenting issues. As a Core Faculty member in the Townsend Institute Master’s Counseling Program, Dr. Jackson enjoy empowering students to recognize their strengths and utilize their God-given gifts purposefully. She has gained a unique cultural awareness of the family dynamics and cultural dispositions, particularly with the African American population.

Workshop Description: Client Welfare, Informed Consent, and Avoiding Harm and Imposing Values are ethical standards to consider when empowering the African American client!!  Culturally responsive techniques such as cultural sensitivity, building rapport, and clarifying counseling expectations will be explored via visual media.  Tips for demystifying mental health will be highlighted.

Examining How Clinicians Integrate  Mindfulness Practices with  High-Risk Adolescents
Lili Burciaga, EdD, LCPC

Bio: Dr. Lili Burciaga is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with 14 years of experience in the field in hospitals, community mental health, corrections, and integrative care.  Dr. Burciaga is also assistant professor and core faculty in the child and adolescent track of the clinical mental health counseling graduate program at Lewis University. She teaches in the Undergraduate Psychology Program as well.  Her areas of expertise and interest include mindfulness, trauma, family dynamics, and clinical supervision.

Workshop Description: This workshop looks at a study that explored the lived experiences of clinicians who have integrated mindfulness practices into their clinical work with high-risk adolescents.  The study aimed to explore specific mindfulness integration strategies that are beneficial to high-risk adolescents, based on the experiences of the individuals who participated in the study.  The participants of the study discussed their challenges, successes, and their perception of effective mindfulness techniques with this population.  Three superordinate and 11 subordinate themes and four categories were identified.  The essence of the participant’s experiences provided knowledge and considerations for other clinicians interested in using mindfulness in therapy with high-risk adolescents.

Couple Counseling When Divorce is Imminent
Gwendolyn Sterk, Attorney at Law

Bio: Gwendolyn J. Sterk has been practicing family law since 1989 and successfully started her own law firm, Sterk Family Law Group, P.C., in 2015. Gwendolyn and her team believe in a holistic approach to the practice of family law and strive to not only service a client’s legal needs, but also help manage a client’s emotional and over-all well-being.  Ms. Sterk and the Family Law team work hard to establish connections with a vast network of counselors, support groups, and various other non-traditional service providers, who the team regularly partners with to assist clients on a case by case basis.  Sterk Family Law Group strives to provide clients with the tools they need to be empowered by their life changes, and be encouraged to move on with integrity and dignity.

Workshop Description: This presentation will include the following:

A.      Highlights of Illinois Divorce Law and recent changes in the Law
B.      Tips for Couples from the Perspective of a Divorce Lawyer
C.      Standards of Behavior to maintain good relations with your children
D.      Special considerations for a “grey” divorce

Unique issues for parents of a child with special needs


12:00 PM - 1:00 PM - Lunch: is on your own.

3 Choices
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Embracing Strength Based Principle:  Effective Strategies For Treatment Planning

Joann Preston, PhD. LCSW MAC CADC ACSW
Bio: Dr Preston is a licensed clinical social worker with the Chicago Public School system. She has been employed in this position for 28 years.  Her position with the Chicago Public Schools has rewarded her with the opportunity to mentor many students.  She has held numerous positions in social work during her summer hiatus from CPS.    

Most notably in geriatrics and social work with the LGBTQ population.  She has
specialized training in sex trafficking, drug addiction and dementia support.   
Dr Preston was clinically trained at Loyola University receiving her master’s in social work and her doctorate in family therapy from the Institute of Clinical Social Work.

Dr Preston also has a certificate in drug counseling from South Suburban College. Dr Preston has published articles on African American adolescent females and Aids, Urban LGBTQ population and Crisis Intervention.  Dr Preston leads the dementia ministry at Hill Crest Baptist church.    

She loves working with adolescents, families and children and assisting them to grow socially, academically, spiritually and emotionally. Dr Preston states she has never met a kid she did not like.

Workshop Description: This workshop will assist you to apply the strength based principles in your work with children, adolescents and their families to improve treatment outcomes.  Participants will learn practical strategies that can be used effectively in any clinical setting to help clients uncover their coping skills, build new relationships, and identify inner resources.   Participants will gain a better understanding of the challenges many clinicians face when working with multi stressed families and how the strength based approach can reduce therapist burn out, encourage the client to take a proactive role in treatment and therapeutic benefits will be identified.

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P.O. Box 706
DeKalb, IL 60115

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